‘…something clearly got lost in translation…’

By 22nd June 2023 No Comments

I have been delighted by the many comments I have received following the publication of my article on the ‘Charlton Athletic Veterans’ Tour of Barcelona in 1997; a tour which saw a very experienced and extremely talented Charlton team win a prestigious tournament in Barcelona a day after a tough game against Espanyol Veterans.

I am indebted to Peter Varney – who along with Keith Peacock, managed the Charlton Veterans Squad at all of our end-of-season tours – for sending me a transcript of the speech I made in Spanish, in my role as the President of the Charlton Veterans, at the after-match reception to our Espanyol hosts:

‘Gracias por el buffet de bajo nivel después del partido que nos ha preparado hoy. Naturalmente, estamos encantados de haber ganado el torneo y de que, como resultado de nuestra victoria, consigamos mantener Gibraltar durante al menos otros 50 años. Hemos hecho grandes amigos hoy, pero eso no impedirá que abandonemos la Unión Europea tan pronto como podamos. Gracias a todos’.

Peter – who had vetted my speech beforehand and who handed me the ‘approved’ version just as I got to my feet – swears it’s word-for-word what I said but my memory of it is ‘slightly’ different.

That said, something clearly got lost in translation as I thought I’d made an excellent speech, so this might explain why it almost started an International incident involving the British Consulate…and I really don’t know why I had to receive a Police escort away from Espanyol’s ground…I thought they over-reacted if I’m honest!

What do you think?

My article on that Barcelona tour can be found here: